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Keyword: astronomy

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  • Mars as never seen before: NASA's Curiosity rover reveals a stunning panorama

    02/02/2018 6:37:00 AM PST · by mairdie · 45 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 2 February 2018 | Joe Pinkstone and Tim Collins
    An incredible panoramic view sent from the surface of the red planet has been created using images taken by the Mars Curiosity rover. It reveals the landscape of one of our closest galactic neighbours, which has been home to the exploratory vehicle since it landed in Gale Crater in 2012. One of the on-board cameras captured 16 separate scenic images that show various points on its journey, as seen from the top of the Vera Rubin Ridge, which were then stitched together to form the sweeping image. Thanks to some clever visual effects that give the scene a blue hue,...
  • Catholic Caucus: January 31 Super Blue Blood Moon and St. John Bosco’s Dream/Prophecy

    01/31/2018 5:07:13 PM PST · by Coleus · 5 replies
    Roman Catholic Man ^ | 01.30.18 | Fr Richard Heilman
    Well known is St. John Bosco’s “dream of the two columns” where he foresaw the future difficulties of the Church, envisioned as a ship on stormy seas. Several popes strive to moor the Church and anchor it between two columns which arose amid the dangerous waters. The columns symbolized the two devotions to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to Mary Immaculate, the Help of Christians. Calm and peace for the Church is won only when one of the popes finally succeeds in anchoring the Church between the two columns.  Another St. John Bosco dream/prophecy is less-known, which can shed light...
  • TRAPPIST-1 system planets potentially habitable

    01/23/2018 2:23:29 PM PST · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    phys.org ^ | 01/23/2018 | Planetary Science Institute
    A size comparison of the planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system, lined up in order of increasing distance from their host star. The planetary surfaces are portrayed with an artist’s impression of their potential surface features, including water, ice, and atmospheres. Amy Barr's paper “Interior Structures and Tidal Heating in the TRAPPIST-1 Planets” shows that planets d and e are the most likely to be habitable due to their moderate surface temperatures, modest amounts of tidal heating, and because their heat fluxes are low enough to avoid entering a runaway greenhouse state. Planet d is likely covered by a global water...
  • Distant Galaxies Challenge Our Understanding of Star Formation

    01/22/2018 3:50:38 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 20 replies
    Real Clear Science ^ | 22 Jan, 2018 | Marie Martig
    The most massive galaxies in our neighbourhood formed their stars billions of years ago, early in the history of the universe. At the present day, they produce very few new stars. Astronomers have long believed that is because they contain very little gas – a key ingredient necessary to produce stars. But our new study, published in Nature Astronomy, is now challenging this long held view. Through probing the extreme environments of faraway massive galaxies, we can learn not only about their evolution and the history of the universe, but most importantly about the fundamental processes regulating the formation of...
  • Astronomers Find Mass Limit for Neutron Stars Before Collapsing Into Black Holes

    01/19/2018 1:38:43 PM PST · by Red Badger · 38 replies
    www.popularmechanics.com ^ | 01/19/2018 | By John Wenz
    These remaining cores of dead stars can only get so massive before they become black holes. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The subtle difference between when a massive dying star compresses into a core and when it collapses entirely may have been found. In a study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers at the Goethe University in Frankfurt say they’ve found the dividing line between compact objects called neutron stars and black holes. When a massive star reaches the end of its life, it goes out with an immense bang called a supernova. From there, one of two known things Can happen: it either...
  • Arecibo radar returns with asteroid phaethon images

    12/23/2017 8:15:02 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    phys.org ^ | December 22, 2017
    After several months of downtime after Hurricane Maria blew through, the Arecibo Observatory Planetary Radar has returned to normal operation, providing the highest-resolution images to date of near-Earth asteroid 3200 Phaethon during its Dec. 16 flyby of Earth. The radar images, which are subtle at the available resolution, reveal the asteroid is spheroidal in shape and has a large concavity at least several hundred meters in extent near the leading edge, and a conspicuous dark, circular feature near one of the poles. Arecibo's radar images of Phaethon have resolutions as fine as about 250 feet (75 meters) per pixel.
  • Three-mile-wide Asteroid 3200 Phaethon to skim Earth just before Christmas Read more:

    11/24/2017 6:01:48 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    A gigantic space rock called 3200 Phaethon is due to brush ‘quite close’ to our planet on December 17, Russian astronomers have revealed. This huge asteroid is thought to cause the beautiful Geminids meteor shower which will take place between December 13 and 14, causing hundreds of bright meteors to illuminate the night sky as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. But NASA has also described it as a ‘potentially hazardous asteroid whose path misses Earth’s orbit by only 2 million miles‘ – which is tiny in galactic terms. It’s about half the size of Chicxulub, the rock which wiped...
  • Tarrant College students leave class after professor's unusual behavior

    01/18/2018 9:39:23 AM PST · by DFG · 104 replies
    Fox4News (DFW) ^ | 01/17/2018 | FOX4News.com Staff
    Students attending a lecture at Tarrant County College were so frightened by their professor's behavior during a recent class that they had to leave the room. When TCC Adjunct Professor Daniel Mashburn walked into his Astronomy class Tuesday night, several students were alarmed by his behavior. Some thought it was a joke while others called police. Student April McLeod says her teacher got to class about 20 minutes late and turned off the lights and was wearing a ball cap, a toboggan, a scarf over his face and gloves. She says Mashburn never took any of it off even when...
  • Flash of Light and Shockwave in Detroit are

    01/16/2018 5:36:21 PM PST · by freedomson · 111 replies
    At about 8:20 pm Tuesday January 16, 2018 Did any of you Detroit freepers see that flash of light followed about two minutes later with a window rattling shockwave?
  • NASA experts point to Livingston County for potential meteorite discovery

    01/17/2018 9:36:12 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    The search for meteorites continues all over metro Detroit.  NASA experts point toward Livingston County to find them. Bill Cooke is the Meteoroid Environment Program Manager with NASA and he said the Doppler radar images show the meteorites from the meteor spotted on January 16 in Livingston County. “The meteorites should be just south of M-36 between Hamburg and Lakeland,” said Cooke. Cooke said Doppler is best way to track where they might be found. "Doppler weather radar is a very good indicator because, when it picks up meteorites, the meteorites are fairly close to the ground, they're only a couple...
  • Giant 'Potentially Hazardous' Asteroid Will Whiz By Earth So Close We Can See Inside It

    01/17/2018 9:22:59 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Newsweek ^ | 1/17/18 at 5:43 PM
    On February 4, an asteroid called 2002 AJ129 is due to slip past Earth. It is between 1600 and 4000 feet across, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, but there's no chance it will make impact—NASA has calculated it will remain 2.6 million miles away. That still makes it what astronomers call a "potentially hazardous asteroid," thanks to its size being more than about 500 feet across and an orbital path that carries it within about 4,650,000 miles of Earth. But while they're confident we won't all go the way of the dinosaurs, scientists do want to keep an eye on the...
  • The moon is about to do something it hasn’t done in more than 150 years

    01/02/2018 10:43:52 PM PST · by Oshkalaboomboom · 9 replies
    Miami Herald ^ | Jan 02, 2018 | Alex Harris
    Call it whatever you like — a blue red moon, a purple moon, a blood moon — but the moon will be a special sight on Jan. 31. Three separate celestial events will occur simultaneously that night, resulting in what some are calling a super blue blood moon eclipse. The astronomical rarity hasn’t happened for more than 150 years, according to Space.com. A super moon, like the one visible on New Year’s Day, is the term for when a full moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, appearing bigger and brighter than normal. Supermoon rises over Reno, Nevada...
  • Amateur Skywatchers Spot New Atmospheric Phenomenon

    04/25/2017 1:39:20 PM PDT · by LouieFisk · 29 replies
    smithsonian.com ^ | April 24, 2017 | Erin Blakemore
    When they weren’t calling the purple, ribbon-like light Steve, the Facebook group referred to it as a “proton arc,” notes ABC News. But when a Canadian physicist and astronomer who studies aurorae looked at the photos, he suspected something more was afoot—especially since proton aurorae, which happen when protons from solar winds hit Earth's magnetic field, are usually too dark to be visible.
  • Hubble Spots Auroras on Uranus

    04/11/2017 6:50:12 PM PDT · by LouieFisk · 48 replies
    NASA ^ | April 10, 2017 | NASA
    Ever since Voyager 2 beamed home spectacular images of the planets in the 1980s, planet-lovers have been hooked on auroras on other planets. Auroras are caused by streams of charged particles like electrons that come from various origins such as solar winds, the planetary ionosphere, and moon volcanism. They become caught in powerful magnetic fields and are channeled into the upper atmosphere, where their interactions with gas particles, such as oxygen or nitrogen, set off spectacular bursts of light.
  • Idaho Gets Official Recognition for Its Stellar Night Sky

    12/27/2017 6:27:39 AM PST · by C19fan · 29 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | December 26, 2017 | David Grossman
    In the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho, 1,416 square miles (3,668 square kilometers) of land has been named the country's first International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the leading organization that fights against the light pollution that slowly swallows our view of the universe.
  • Study: Martian Surface Water Was Absorbed by Planet’s Crust

    12/24/2017 7:12:32 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    sci-news ^ | 12/24/2017
    By modeling the reactions of water with the crusts of early Earth and Mars, they found that the Martian crust can hold more than twice the amount of water as Earth, effectively drying out the surface of Mars. The team’s findings suggest that almost 1,000 feet (300 m) of Martian surface water could have been absorbed into the planet’s crust and is now locked-up in microscopic mineral structures. “It would be very difficult to sustain life as we know it on Mars even if surface water existed on the planet for a couple million years,” the researchers said. .. “Our...
  • We Might Have Just Discovered 2 Dark Moons Hidden Near Uranus

    12/22/2017 6:11:50 AM PST · by Red Badger · 50 replies
    www.sciencealert.com ^ | 17 OCT 2016 | FIONA MACDONALD
    ================================================================================================================ Researchers have re-examined data captured by the Voyager 2 spacecraft back in 1986, and think they've found evidence of two never-before-seen moons hidden in the rings of Uranus. Uranus, the third largest planet in our Solar System, already has 27 moons that we know of - but these two new ones appear to orbit the planet more closely than any of its other natural satellites, and are causing wavy patterns in its closest rings. Although Saturn is the most famous ringed planet orbiting our Sun, it's not the only one, with the three other gas giants - Jupiter, Uranus,...
  • Haunted Again: Skull-Faced 'Halloween Asteroid' Returns in 2018

    12/21/2017 12:52:16 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    Space.com ^ | December 21, 2017 06:52am ET | Mike Wall, Senior Writer |
    Astronomers will soon get another look at the big, ghoulishly weird space rock that buzzed Earth on Halloween three years ago. The roughly 2,100-foot-wide (640 meters) Halloween asteroid 2015 TB145 gave Earth a close shave on Oct. 31, 2015, coming within just 300,000 miles (480,000 kilometers) of our planet. (For perspective, the moon orbits at an average distance of about 239,000 miles, or 384,600 km.) A Halloween flyby was quite appropriate, it turned out: Observations made at the time by a variety of instruments revealed that 2015 TB145 looks like an enormous skull, at least from some angles. ... The asteroid may...
  • Japanese startup lands $90 million to put a billboard on the moon — Video at site

    12/19/2017 11:30:28 AM PST · by Swordmaker · 30 replies
    Digital Trends ^ | December 18, 2017 2:48 pm | By Luke Dormehl
    “We’ve got a startup idea. We want $90 million to invest in projection technology for high tech billboards. On the moon.”At least, that is how we assume the pitch went from Japanese space startup iSpace Technologies Inc., which just announced the conclusion of its Series A round of venture funding. Its goal? To launch a spacecraft into lunar orbit by 2019, land on the moon the year after that, and then set up the necessary infrastructure for a moon-based advertising business. Heck, you can’t fault the company’s ambition!iSpace’s $90 million will cover two space flights in 2019 and 2020....
  • Asteroid that could’ve obliterated NYC skimmed past Earth – and NASA didn’t notice

    12/08/2017 9:25:30 AM PST · by Red Badger · 47 replies
    www.dailystar.co.uk ^ | 12/08/2017 | By Rachel O'Donoghue
    A MASSIVE asteroid that could have destroyed New York City skimmed past Earth – and NASA had no clue. The large space rock – dubbed 2017 VL2 – passed the planet on November 9 at an astonishing distance of just 73,000 miles, which is considered tiny in space terms. Space boffins think that if the rock measuring between 16 and 32 metres had hit, it could’ve wiped a major city such as New York off the map. The rock belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and was first seen at ATLAS-MLO observatory in Hawaii a day later. It was...